The MLB may be set to return this summer but it would likely resume in a much different format. Here are some of the proposed changes that could take place, as reportedly presented by MLB owners.
The MLB season could start around the Fourth of July weekend with spring training resuming in early to mid June. Fans would not be a part of the games.
The season would essentially be cut in half as they are proposing to play 82 regular season games similar to the NBA regular season.
There still would be some interleague play but those matchups would be limited to certain divisions. For example, the American League East would only play the National League East.
Postseason play would be expanded from 10 teams to 14 by doubling the wild cards in each league.
As for where the teams will play that will depend on medical and government approval. Obviously, they will be shooting for playing games in home stadiums but if that cannot be worked out then games may be played in spring training stadiums in Arizona and Florida or other neutral sites.
The All-Star game scheduled to be in Los Angeles this year in July will likely be called off.
One of the biggest issues to be worked out is how salaries will work.
With fewer games and decreased TV revenue, there will be less money to be paid. However, there have been agreements between players and teams where players receive only a portion of their salaries based on the percentage of a 162 game schedule that is played.
But it sounds like these agreements came with conditions that would have to be met regarding things like travel restrictions being lifted, etc.
An interesting aspect to think about is how this will affect players getting ready to enter free agency.
Will they want to commit to playing in a non-standard season at the end of a contract and risk injury while playing for less pay?
Also, when it comes to playing games at stadiums far away from home the entire season, will athletes be interested in staying away from their families for so long?
MLB officials are said to make a presentation to the players union tomorrow regarding some of these details.
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